How the pandemic produced permanent changes in education

The disruptive effects of the pandemic have been widely publicized. Unfortunately, the disruption occurred in all environments, not just supply chains and consumer buying habits. In fact, Covid has had a widespread effect in terms of bringing significant changes to education.

Many experts believe that these changes in education are here to stay. However, these changes are not pessimistic for K-12 schools, trade schools, and institutions of higher education.

Quite the opposite. Education does not have it experienced sudden evolutionary growth over several decades. Changes in education could, in fact, be a bit behind schedule. Yes, some aspects of education have improved thanks to new technologies. And yet the basic learning model has not experienced a seismic movement, until now.

After more than a year of teachers, administrators and students struggling to exchange knowledge in innovative and remote ways, a different educational path has emerged. Listed below are some of the major disruptions that helped reinvent the public and private school systems.

Grades are becoming less important than practical assessments.

The GPA has not completely gone the way of the dinosaur. However, many people still view GPA as an accurate measure of learning. But, as noted in research by Instructure, the manufacturer behind Canvas, less than a third of educators felt the tests reflected knowledge gains. Instead, 76% of them preferred to use formative assessments to measure progress.

This departure from viewing students as “A students” or “failures” receives excellent marks from many researchers. When handled correctly, formative assessments can eliminate the “high risk” rating that causes so much anxiety among many students. Formative assessments can also be used in conjunction with more traditional test vehicles where appropriate.

College courses are aligning with career trends.

Many have long argued that colleges and universities need to prepare their curricula for the future by offering more relevant courses, certifications, and degrees. Finally, after the pandemic, this is starting to happen more frequently on campuses across the country.

Case in point? Interactive games.

According to Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Entertainment, the interactive entertainment industry is finally getting serious as a career. When Pitchford started making interactive video games years ago, he admits that he had to learn on his own. At that time, the field of higher education did not consider the video game industry relevant.

Today, Pitchford is happy to see that everything has changed for talented and promising programmers and creatives. As he explained to college students interested in entertainment occupations, “Now, there are entire college programs dedicated to this craft, which means the next generation of artists will be more equipped than ever to develop and design amazing games.”

Hybrid learning is enjoying its moment.

Although Zoom’s fatigue became a real problem during the pandemic, not all students saw online learning as a negative. For many, being able to attend classes online kept them safe while giving them access to essential information. Additionally, online students had a greater variety of schools with respect to where they wanted to learn. This was especially true for postsecondary courses, degrees, and certifications.

Although many K-12 and higher education schools have returned to in-person learning, they have remained open to online learning and took a hybrid approach.

For example, many teachers now record classes so absent students can view them later. Some offer live streaming capabilities to students who cannot be in the classroom. Please note that many schools updated their technologies during Covid to include webcams in learning spaces. Consequently, they are eager to continue using those technologies and to get the best return on those investments.

Colleges and universities are moving towards the standard of optional test applications.

For decades, students had to take standardized tests like the SAT and ACT to apply to colleges. Later, SAT and ACT canceled the tests when the pandemic swept the country. Neither test meant that countless high school seniors were left without a critical appraisal piece. In response, institutions of higher education – including some in the ivy leaguewas test-optional.

The decision to look at college applicants through a different lens was a natural reaction to a problem. It turned out that it drove popularity and pressure for universities. As a result, many institutions have become optional for testing for the foreseeable future.

Parents are more committed than ever to their children’s education.

When children started learning about desktops, laptops, and tablets, their parents were often by their side. Without a doubt, working moms and dads struggled to try to be there for their children during the school day. However, they ended up becoming stronger partners in their children’s learning and development.

Research by EdWeek reveals that nearly 80% of teachers felt that their Increased communication with parents during the pandemic.. Better communication is another positive outcome for education, which has long been plagued by disconnections between educators and parents. As parents take a more “we’re in this together” approach to their children’s education, schools and their staff feel more supported. Also, it can be easier for teachers to have difficult discussions about underperforming students with supportive mothers and fathers.

Administrations are improving teachers’ skills in technology.

Many teachers were surprised when they had to transfer their class work to the Internet. For one thing, they had to master Zoom regardless of whether they were comfortable with the technology. Similarly, they owed it to their students to make better use of networked and cloud-based learning management systems. As a result, many set out on their own to acquire knowledge in the field of educational technology.

It is essential to ensure that educators are not caught off guard and without these vital skill sets again.

Hopefully, a large-scale pandemic will never surprise everyone again. However, something else could cause equally significant disruptions to the educational process. Disruption is one of the reasons schools focus on training their teams on the latest advancements. Consequently, teachers will be better able to flex their tech muscles quickly, just in case.

Covid caused several learning stumbles. At the same time, the pandemic provided the education system with a much-needed wake-up call. After all, the children, teens, and youth who attend school right now will be in the workforce in no time. They deserve a relevant education to launch fulfilling careers. In general, it is a good thing that changes in education are taking place to meet your needs at precisely the right time.

Image credit: pexels; Thank you!

Deanna ritchie

Deanna ritchie

Editor-in-chief at ReadWrite

Deanna is the managing editor for ReadWrite. Previously, she worked as the editor-in-chief of Startup Grind and has over 20 years of content management and content development experience.

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